Climate Change Intensifies Sufferings to Rural Women, Children

Abu Baker :: Women and children of Bangladesh are the worst victim of the climate change-related adaptation. The Impact of the climate change has been appeared evidently in recent times. Developing countries as well as developed ones have also been suffering from the changes.

It is inevitable to be attentive to address or mitigate the sufferings alongside the adaptation. People of 87 upazilas under 19 coastal districts experience direct impact of the climate change. They live fighting with the storms almost every day.

Scientists claim the global warming as one of the main causes behind environmental degradation that has been taken place across the globe. Increase of global warming is caused by the emission of green house gas due to different unusual activities by the human kind. Emission of green house gas has been influencing the climate change on the earth. Impact of climate changes has been attacking the developed, developing and undeveloped countries equally and likely to attack in future too. But, comparatively poor countries are more likely to face more hassle due to lack of financial and technical equality.

Heavy rainfall and rainless situation have been the aftermath of the climate changes. Temperature is fluctuating while floods and cyclones are appearing repeatedly. People of Bangladesh have experienced many natural disasters in last two years. Rain in winter is not an unusual incident now. The seasonal diversity has been hindered a lot. Excessive heat instead of rainfall in the rainy season has also become a common scenario.

This year, the experienced temperature was the highest over last 12 years. Seven to eight people died of heat-stroke. The average temperature of Chittagong has increased by 2.5 to 3.0 degree over last few days. The women and children have to suffer several times higher during flood, cyclone and tidal upsurge comparing to the man. River erosion or sea level rise directly or indirectly make the women and children helpless. The country was affected by three floods and four severe cyclones over last two years. A number of casualties were taken place in the disasters while millions of people left homeless and food security was hampered.

Miserable conditions of the hungry and homeless people at the coastal districts are often seen due to the natural disasters.  Frequent upsurge in the sea, cyclone and flood destroy crops on the farmland. Scarcity of drinking water appears which increases miseries of the women. The woman of a family has to collect food and drinking water for other members of the family. The women have also to do additional household chores along with repairing the damaged house. In a survey at Dimla under Nilphamari district, it was revealed that working women lose their income sources after any disaster. In that time, the women get busy with collecting relief. A total of 84.82 percent women run for pure drinking water. The women even have to face discrimination in taking food.  They take food after their husbands as a tradition.

According to a survey of voluntary organisation ‘Barnali’ at Kolapara under Patuakhali district, a total of 98.30 percent women take food after their husbands while 38.91 percent don’t get anything to eat. Sufferings of women and children increase during the natural disasters due to lack of sufficient heath care service too. Women cannot take care of their health during the drought, even if pass period. They have to face tremendous problem, when take shelter in the cyclone-centres after any disaster, in using toilets due to lack of separate arrangements for male and female which brings physical problems. Number of the cyclone shelters is less than the required number while most of the existing shelters are in risk. Major portion of the total 2,941 centres in the country are in different risks. Besides this, there is arrangement for only 2800 thousand people in the centres against total 40000 thousand people at the coastal areas. The women also face discrimination while stay inside the crowded centres.

Around 70 cyclones stormed in this region over last 200 years.  Floods hit the country almost every year. It is too tough to identify the number of women who lost life, got injured in disasters or sexually harassed in the shelter-centres. In this regard, Social Worker Jesmin Sultana Paru said “Natural disaster is happening and will happen in future. The women and children suffer much in the disasters. Considering it they should be rehabilitate to the safe place. If necessary, they should be rehabilitated on the government lands taking international assistance for ensuring their fundamental rights”.

According to the statistics of Bangladesh Statistics Bureau, total population of coastal districts is 35080 thousand. Among them, 107010 thousand are female and 107090 thousand are male. Population of the coastal belts increased over 800 thousand in last decade. Most of them are women and children. They are suffering from the climate change. Their miseries increased.



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